Traffic chaos on record day for Bloom
RECORD numbers attending the Bloom garden festival combined with a music festival caused traffic headaches throughout the capital.
Some motorists reported delays of up to an hour in getting through the city centre, while gardai reported large volumes of traffic on the N4 heading to the garden festival in the grounds of Phoenix Park.
Garda traffic controllers were energetically conducting cars through the roundabouts in the Park as bank holidaymakers endeavoured to get to Bloom, which was enjoying its highest attendance ever yesterday, with over 31,000 people flocking through its doors.
But despite the crowds, a relaxed atmosphere still pervaded the venue, with a barber shop septet entertaining visitors at the Kerry Group/Concern Worldwide '1,000 Days Garden'.
Ice-cream sales had gone through the roof – and they weren't the only stalls doing brisk business.
Stock was flying off the shelves everywhere, with the Kildare Growers reporting plant sales of €100,000 while, on Saturday, the Daisy Cottage Bakery stand had sold out by 11am.
Garret Quearney of Mr Middleton Plant store on Dublin's Mary Street said sales were good – with their bargain bags of dahlias proving particularly popular.
However, fruit bushes were not selling quite as well, he said, adding: "We're a nation of flower growers rather than vegetables and fruit."
Meanwhile, one garden designer had already taken 20 lucrative commissions, according to Bloom organisers.
Gary Grahan, Bloom show manager with Bord Bia, said this was the strongest year for sales in years, pointing to the fact that people seem to have a little more disposable income and are willing to spend it.
"These gardens cost around €50,000 to €100,000 to install, so the fact that one garden designer has taken 20 commissions thanks to a presence at Bloom is very positive," he said.